Elegant Padova -- known in English as Padua -- is home to an ancient university, a Basilica that is an important centre for pilgrims and a chapel containing one of the world’s greatest art treasures. Use this website to help you plan a visit to this fascinating northern Italian city and find your way to the other beautiful towns and villages in the Veneto that are perhaps less well known to tourists.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Spend the day in Venice

A gondola glides down the Grand Canal
From Padova it is quick and easy to get to Venice by train, meaning you can enjoy a full day out in one of the most popular cities in the world at relatively little cost.
There are frequent, direct trains from Padova to the Santa Lucia railway station in Venice. The more expensive Eurostar express trains take about 15 minutes but you can also make the journey on one of the local regionale services in about 35 minutes for as little as €3 for a single ticket.

When you arrive at Santa Lucia and come out of the station you will be greeted by the magnificent sight of the Grand Canal in front of you.

You could choose to sail down to Piazza San Marco in style on a vaporetto or to walk down Lista di Spagna and through fascinating back streets in the direction of the Rialto bridge and Piazza San Marco.

You could also cross the Ponte degli Scalzi bridge over the Grand Canal and walk through the narrow streets of the Santa Croce area towards the Rialto .
You can explore alleyways and squares, occasionally crossing little bridges, to your heart’s content, knowing whichever route you take will bring you to the Rialto in the end.
It is impossible to get lost because at the end of each alleyway there are signs for either Rialto and San Marco or Ferrovia and Piazzale Roma, the railway station and bus station.
The area between the railway station and Rialto is well off for shops, bars and restaurants, with prices tending to be lower than those charged by establishments closer to Piazza San Marco.
Walking through the Santa Croce area in the direction of the Rialto will bring you to the Campo della Pescheria and Venice’s famous fish market, which has recently been developed into a vibrant area with bars and restaurants where you can eat outside looking out over the Grand Canal.
There is now a new water bus stop for this area called Rialto Mercato.
Local specialities to try: Sample sarde in saor (sardines served with an Italian  sweet and sour sauce), fegato alla veneziana (tender calf’s liver cooked on a bed of onions) or zuppa di cozze (mussels with white wine, garlic and parsley).
Local wines to taste: White: Soave, which is so well known internationally, is made from grapes grown in the vineyards around the nearby hilltop town of Soave. Also look out for Tocai and Bianco di Custoza on Venice restaurant menus.
Red: Valpolicella is a pleasant, light, fruity wine made in the area between Verona and Lake Garda.
Frizzante: If you fancy something sparkling try Prosecco, a lovely wine produced around the areas of Valdobbiadene and Conegliano in the Veneto. Prosecco is an ideal aperitivo before lunch and dinner and a refreshing drink to order in a bar when you are having a break from sight seeing.
Travel Tip: A single ticket for the vaporetto is €7 so it is worth buying a travel card for your time in Venice for use on both water and land transport. At €18 for 12 hours you will need to use the vaporetto just three times to make a saving.